Analysis and Theory

Dangerous Dancing?: TikTok, National Security, and the First Amendment

April 12, 2024

Berkman Klein Center
1557 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA

April 12, 12:30 PM–April 12, 2:00 PM

Join us for a conversation moderated by Visiting Scholar Anupam Chander, featuring Jennifer Huddleston, Ramya Krishnan, Jenna Leventoff, and Alan Rozenshtein.

TikTok, the massively popular social media app, has come under fire because it is owned by a company headquartered in Beijing. Some call it a “Trojan Horse,” arguing that it is simultaneously a spying and propaganda machine. Defenders observe that TikTok is an enormous speech platform and that the U.S. should not be in the business of banning speech apps. When might economic sanctions run afoul of the First Amendment? The Institute for Rebooting Social Media welcomes a panel of leading experts to consider First Amendment challenges to any TikTok divest-or-ban order.

Anupam Chander is Scott K. Ginsburg Professor of Law and Technology at Georgetown. In 2023-24, he is a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Rebooting Social Media at Harvard University and Cheng Yu Tung Visiting Professor at the University of Hong Kong. A Harvard College and Yale Law graduate, he is the author of The Electronic Silk Road, published by Yale University Press and co-editor of Data Sovereignty: From the Digital Silk Road to the Return of the State published by Oxford University Press. He practiced law in NY and Hong Kong with Cleary, Gottlieb. He has been a visiting law professor at Yale, Chicago, Stanford, Cornell, & Tsinghua. A recipient of Google Research Awards and an Andrew Mellon grant, he has consulted for the World Bank, World Economic Forum & UNCTAD. A non-resident fellow at Yale’s Information Society Project, he is a member of the American Law Institute.

Jennifer Huddleston is a technology policy research fellow at the Cato Institute. Her research focuses on the intersection of emerging technology and law with a particular interest in the interactions between technology and the administrative state. Huddleston’s work covers topics including antitrust, online content moderation, data privacy, and the benefits of technology and innovation. Her work has appeared in USA Today, National Review, the Chicago Tribune, Slate, RealClearPolicy, and U.S. News and World Report.

Ramya Krishnan is a senior staff attorney at the Knight First Amendment Institute and a lecturer in law at Columbia Law School. Her litigation focuses on issues related to government transparency, protest, privacy, and social media. Krishnan leads the Knight Institute’s litigation in National Association of Immigration Judges v. Neal, which challenges government policies that gag the nation’s immigration judges. She was the Knight Institute’s inaugural legal fellow.

Jenna Leventoff is a Senior Policy Counsel at the ACLU, where she develops and advocates for policies related to protecting free speech and promoting robust access to communications tools. Jenna received her J.D, cum laude, and B.A from Case Western Reserve University.

Alan Z. Rozenshtein is Associate Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota. He is a senior editor at Lawfare, a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the Scholars Strategy Network, and a visiting faculty fellow at the University of Nebraska College of Law. He was previously an affiliate with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.


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